tv News Nation MSNBC September 14, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT
i'm tamron hall. the "news nation" is following breaking news right now. within minutes president obama, vice president biden, and secretary of state hillary clinton along with leon panetta will attend a ceremony at andrews air force base to mark the return of the bodies of the four americans killed in libya. this is a picture of the plane that brought the bodies back to the united states. back to their families. both the president and secretary of state will speak at the ceremonies and family members will be present. u.s. ambassadors chris stevens, foreign service information management officer sean smith. and former navy seal tyrone jones and glen doerty were providing security for ambassador smith were all killed in tuesday's attack in benghazi,
libya. meantime angry protests spread today throughout the muslim world including jerusalem and the west bank along gaza. u.n. peacekeepers were also attacked by protesters. no casualties reported. in tunisia protesters stormed the u.s. embassy setting fires and battling with tunisian security forces. two people were killed. another 29 injured. in all protests broke out today in at least 17 nations from north africa across the middle east to indonesia. all the demonstrators voicing outrage against that film made in the united states that ridicules the prophet mohammed. nbc's jim maceda is in that country. we hope to have him join us later. joining me now, andrea mitchell, most of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea i'll start off with you. the ceremony you were talking about when bodies were returned after the attacks on the embassy
in 1998 you were there. this is something that many people in my generation never witnessed and never seen in our lifetimes. an ambassador his remains and those of his colleagues brought back in this country. >> it is the saddest moment that could be had for a secretary of state, for a president. we've become enneuroed to the military losses. this is a ceremony for four individuals serving the united states in a diplomatic role. two of them servicemen and two of them a foreign service officer. when i think back at hillary clinton i'm sure this is a moment where she will be reflecting back to the embassy bombings and her role then as first lady. it was an extraordinarily sad moment. and now to see these four
individuals. the first time we lost an american ambassador since 1979 in afghanistan. chris teevens all the hope and islism of returning to libya. now to return as ambassador only sworn in in may. this has been a really difficult time. understandably for the state department. you're going to see the komcoff. there will be common r comments. and eventually the coffins will be returned to dover. >> i'm going to ask you to stay with us. joan walsh is here. i want to talk our audience back to where all of this is our focus as far as the violence that is continuing. jim maceda is standing by for us in cairo, egypt.
jim, what is the latest from there? >> reporter: tamron, if you can hear me okay, i'd like to talk about two protests that are taking place here. it is interesting you've got the four day stand off that's taking place behind me. you've got the u.s. embassy and this ongoing cat and mouse stand off between more hard core younger protesters who continue to throw stones at riot police. today we saw that road being blocked off. by huge concrete blocks. the police behind them. the police firing off a water cannon. and then you've got what you're hearing behind me, the muslim brotherhood groups called out by the muslim brotherhood, part of the so-called million man march today.
they've been out marching around the square. they've been very loud, boisterous, but very peaceful. men, women and children. it's been like this now all afternoon. the violence and there be hasn't been much here. again, it's more of a robust protest and some rock throwing. that's been taking place inside of that bubble and it's clear that most people did follow the muslim brotherhood and request the appearance on tv today where the president demanded if there are demonstrations they should go off peacefully. >> thank you very much. let me bring in our guests. let me talk to you about the spread of this. obviously a better situation in cairo than what we expected this time yesterday. it was said by jim maceda we didn't know what would happen. president morsi sent out the word this is not acceptable. even with peaceful protests. but the spread of this, andrea is still with us.
she tweeted out drawing attention to due nae sha especially and the loyalty to the united states. if this goes to an epic proportion there as far as outcry, where does the united states stand with some of these countries that we backed? >> i think this is a critical day. it's friday. it's the height of prayer day. the height of protest day. if everything cools down over the weekend, i think that this -- we might be through the worst of it. i think the thing that we need to keep an eye on is not so much what happens over the next one or two or three days. unless it really kicks off. the thing that is most distressing is that a piece of propaganda, if you will, can you plucked out of thin air on the internet i ma'ams and rebel rousing. we should fear for this the next time this happens.
it seems to turn on and off at any moment. >> what can you do? we're not afghanistan. you cannot block youtube. we're not china where you will sensor and limit the information available. there was a report even with the block put in place in afghanistan, you could easily access this video in that country despite the efforts by the government there. >> i think this story is simultaneously a little bit smaller and gigantically bigger than we're giving it credit for. i think that these particular protests unless some government is destabilized over the weekend, they're going to blow over. the bigger problem is somewhere, somehow the united states is losing the macro info strategic war. there are people in these countries that don't understand that every piece of information over the internet is not sanctioned by the u.s. government. >> i want to bring in joan on this. there are many online especially commentators and the like who say precisely what jim is pointing oout. why it's not a foreign policy
issue. not our standing of enemy or ally. egypt receives from the united states and the attention given to quelling it right after this has started, that's when the relevance of foreign policy comes into play here, andrea. >> in fact, the relationship with egypt is the critical relationship and one that is very troubled. the u.s., this administration does not know how to deal with morsi. the fact that the president described him as not an ally, not an enemy. it was a new formulation. it was a rocket fired across toward cairo because the president in a very tough phone call later that night told him in no uncertain terms they did not rise to the challenge of their legal obligation to protect our embassy. that is cairo separate from benghazi. if they don't get this relationship right with egypt, we're in a world of trouble.
that is the most important arab partner, nation, ally, nonally, whatever you want to call it in the world. >> the white house points out they were using legal language. you have two dynamics here, the internet and how this information can now be sent out across the world. how to deal with that. also, our relationships now with a dozen or more countries. many of them where the united states backed the popular uprising of the people and fought back dictators who stood on these people for generations. >> right. that's why i do think that it was so important, tamron that secretary of state clinton and the president have tried to make clear that we in no way endorse this horrible propaganda garbage. that's why it's so sad that that message became politicized. i think it's important. i think it's important tenant of diplomacy to make clear to the
world as president bush did that we are not at war with islam. that we are not declaring war on the islamic world and these crack pots and fringe characters of hearth do not speak for the american government. when that attempt to accepted out that message gets politicized, it really is a sad day. >> it's just in this latest interview with abc news that governor mitt romney acknowledged that this video, this anti-muslim video was an awful thing. the language was not nearly as strong as secretary of state hillary clinton. but nonetheless, it took so many days where initially he thought it was more relevant to talk about free speech than perhaps have a dual line of conversation about the awfulness of this video and of course, our relationships with these countries and the sentiment toward anti-islam videos that come out from many times this country.
>> many foreign policy advisors and john mccain and others are saying he should lay it all out in a speech and explain what he should do. why is it that his foreign policy advisor told "the washington post" that under a president romney this wouldn't have happened. what would he have done to prevent it? >> that is the question. let me play what senator john mccain said just a a short time ago and get your thoughts here. >> fl the long-term everything is unraveling in that part of the world because the united states is weak. this president is not understand the importance of american leadership and he continues to want to in his own words lead from behind. >> here's senator mccain saying the president leads from behind. you have the foreign policy advisor for mitt romney saying this would not have happened under his presidency, mccain, williamson, nor governor romney have indicated what they would have done differently.
>> i'd like to know what would be different. a potential president romney would have done differently at this point. the problem that the president is struggling with is yes, we did help install these democracies. these democracies are extraordinarily weak. president morsi is walking such a fine line. not only does he have his own muslim brotherhood. he has what some people call the tea party of the muslim brotherhood. 25% of his own parliament. he cannot alienate them too much. they're the ones calling out the protests. morsi might be personally offended by the video. he didn't come to the condemnation that he should have in the views of the american government. at the same time, president morsi has an obligation to look out after the best interest of himself and his administration and his own country. i think he himself is saying he would say that he's doing the best that he can walking this fine line. >> you mentioned people looking out for their best interest.
joan, you've been critical of governor romney including those within his own party question if he was looking out for his best interest in the initial statement. irreconcilable difference put you've got this value summit going on. bill bennett just read the exact statement mitt romney. >> to cheers. >> despite the fact that andrea, myself and others have presented that this statement was released prior to the attack to cheering conservatives within the last couple of hours. he read that statement double down, triple down whatever you want to call it, they are sticking with romney on this. >> they are. they think it's a winning issue for them with their base. i'm really disappointed in senator john mccain who's often been a voice of wisdom to say in the president's own words he's leading from behind. that comes from a profile by ryan lizza. that was from an advisor. that's an unfortunate dishonesty coming from senator mccain.
>> thank you. we're going to continue to follow this breaking news. in fact, we have another few stories that we've been following. we're going to go to break and i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms
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in washington today, conservatives are gathering. it's a strong focus on not social issues today. paul ryan and former secretary of education bill bennett drew enthusiastic applause as they criticized the administration's handling of the embassy attacks. >> we know who america is dealing with in these attacks. they are extremists who operate by violence and intimidation. and the least equivocation or mixed signal only makes them
bolder. >> in the midst of this, there was a voice. one of mitt romney. it's disgraceful. the obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions. but to sympathize with those who wage the attacks. mitt romney. >> that was bill bennett reading the statement that governor romney released. it's been criticized by republicans. and now it seems as we end the week several days after the statement, at least some portions of that party either trying to justify that statement or rally around governor romney. >> well, i think he's in a pretty difficult position if you consider the last few days of this. i think a lot of people thought if he had waited a few days this is a full blown international crisis. if this was something that they let play out a bit, then there
might have been room for some criticism to go so immediately to politics landed him in trouble. >> they talk a lot about social issues pertaining to the elections. now it's all about foreign policy. they like the rest of american voters i believe out there still waiting to hear some specifics from governor romney especially given one of his foreign policy advisors said in an article today that the attacks would not have happened under president romney. >> here today they're trying to rally social conservative activists. paul ryan was here today talking about the moral clarity on foreign policy, also the discussion about religious freedom and him being a catholic. that's one big issue that's a component of the activist space that they do need to show up at the polls this november.
>> you talk about him being a catholic at least one organization criticizing his speech today. supporters of the president saying under the moral values that the vice presidential nominee espouses it certainly would think that they would require more help to the poor. at least that's pa port of the criticism. they say that the sorely lacking when you look at his budget plan and the things he's willing to cut to help the neediest people. >> that was one interesting part of the speech, i thought him mentioning the 15% poverty. catholics are pretty split on this issue. they're very staunchly anti-abortion rights. but very staunchly in favor of helping the poor. and we also saw catholics come out and criticize the ryan budget for the broad based cuts. now, of course, he would argue it has to start somewhere. it is the other side of this that you do rarely hear about.
>> thank you. we continue to watch andrews air force base as the president, vice president and the secretary of state will join family members of the four americans killed and the consulate attack in libya. they're there for the ceremony to mark the return of the bodies to mark the return of the bodies back to the united states.k at t want to give her everything. yeah, you -- you know, everything can cost upwards of...[ whistles ] i did not want to think about that. relax, relax, relax. look at me, look at me. three words, dad -- e-trade financial consultants. so i can just go talk to 'em? just walk right in and talk to 'em. dude, those guys are pros. they'll hook you up with a solid plan. they'll -- wa-- wa-- wait a minute. bobby? bobby! what are you doing, man? i'm speed dating! [ male announcer ] get investing advice for your family at e-trade. she was a picky eater. well, now i'm her dietitian, and last year, she wasn't eating so well. so i recommended boost complete nutritional drink
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the same time. >> that's because everybody wants it to be the case. it was just only a few moments ago that the attorney for the teachers union came out and said, no deal at this moment. but they hope to have a deal. something they can present to the 700 members who represent the thousands of teachers on sunday. on thursday in fact, the -- both sides of these notions came out smiling. that was something very difference than we've seen from them all week. it gave everybody a lot of hope that this thing might be coming to a close. things got more contentious last night. today the attorney for the teachers union says no deal. there is going to be an informational meeting for their house of delegates 700 members who rep the thousands of teachers union to bring them up to speed. but they won't be voting on a deal it seems like. that may not come until sunday.
>> we'll see what happens on sunday. thank you very much. i want to take my audience back to andrews air force base where as you see there just absolutely heartbreaking sight. the four americans killed earlier this week in libya. we're preparing to witness the transfer of remains ceremony. tchs just earlier this week that the secretary of state talked about ambassador stevens, christopher stevens and said she'd had the privilege of swearing-in chris for his post in libyan only a few months ago back in may. as the conflict in libya had unfolded he was one of the first americans on the ground many benghazi. she won't on to say he risked his own life to help the libyan people build a foundation for a
new free nation. the secretary of state went on to say he spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started. those were the words regarding ambassador christopher stevens. also we know sean smith, the 34-year-old foreign service information management officer also lost his life. he has two young children. samantha and nathan. he's an air force veteran served a number of posts including baghdad and the hague. tyrone woods a former navy seal just 41 years old. his family refers to him as rone. they are there. multiple tours serving for this country in iraq and afghanistan. also glen doherty. the former navy seal 42 years old. according to the secretary of state he was an experienced navy seal, paramedic in. a statement his brother said that he joined the seals in 1995
because he had a desire to push himself and to use his talent to make general june change in the world. i have standing by colonel jack jacobs. i'm hoping that we can talk with the colonel about what we are witnessing here. the white house is saying that this is not the so-called dignified transfer of remains. but a ceremony nonetheless. the transfer of remains. you've seen this too many times when it's been soldiers fighting for our country. these are diplomats who were working and serving as the face of our country. around the world. >> this kind of ceremony takes place all the time down in dover, delaware, where the bodies of the fallen come back from southwest asia after fighting in afghanistan and iraq. this is a very big deal for the white house because it breaks what appears to have been
>> let us pause for a moment of silence. let us pray. gracious god, on behalf of a grateful nation and in the presence of grieving family members, friends and colleagues, we welcome home for the final time ambassador chris stevens, mr. sean smith, mr. glen doherty and mr. tyrone woods. we give you thanks for the lives and the selfless service of these men who wanted nothing more than to make a difference in the lives of other people. to bring justice and freedom to
others. who possessed in their hearts not only character and resolve, but courage, and good will. we mourn their loss. bless the memories of these men through those who knew and loved them. especially their families for whom we ask your comfort, your divine care and your peace in this difficult time. on this occasion, we continue to pray for our nation and it's leaders. we ask your blessing and all who serve military and civilian. we pray for our nation's people. we pray for the defeat of the terror and evil that seems to plague our planet. we pray earnestly for peace. and now let light perpetual shine upon chris, sean, glen and
tyrone. may their souls and the souls of all the departed through your eternal mercies rest in peace. amen. you may be seated. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to present to you secretary of state the honorable hillary rodham clinton. >> thank you very much, chaplain. mr. president, mr. vice president, secretary panetta, ambassador rice, secretary powell and mrs. powell. family members of the four patriots and heroes we bring home, members of the state department family, ladies and
gentlemen, today we bring home four americans who gave their lives for our country and our values. to the families of our fallen colleagues i offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude. sean smith joined the state department after six years in the air force. he was respected as an expert on technology by colleagues in baghdad, montreal, and the hague. he enrolled in corresponds courses at penn state and had high hopes for the future. sean leaves behind a loving wife, heather, two young children, samantha and nathan,
and scores of grieving family, friends and colleagues. and that's just in this world because online in the virtual worlds that sean helped create, he is also being mourned by countless competitors, collaborators and gamers who shared his passion. tyrone woods known to most as rone, spent two decades as a navy seal serving multiple tours in iraq and afghanistan. since 2010, he protected american diplomatic personnel in dangerous posts from central america to the middle east.
he had the hands of a healer as well as the arms of a warrior. earning distinction as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. our hearts go out to tyrone's wife, dorothy, and his three sons, tyrone junior, hunter, and kai born just a few months ago along with his grieving family, friends and colleagues. glen doherty who went by bub was also a former seal and an experienced paramedic. he too died as he lived serving his country and protecting his colleagues. glen deployed to some of the most dangerous places on earth including iraq and afghanistan.
always putting his life on the line to safeguard other americans. our thoughts and prayers are with glen's father bernard, his mother, barbara, his brother, gregory, his sister, kathleen, and their grieving families, friends and colleagues. i was honored to know ambassador chris stevens. i want to thank his parents and siblings who are here today for sharing chris with us and with our country. what a wonderful gift you gave us. over his distinguished career in the foreign service, chris won friends for the united states in far flung places. he made those people's hopes his own. during the revolution in libya, he risked his life to help
protect the libyan people from a tyrant. and he gave his life helping them build a better country. people love to work with chris. and as he rose through the ranks, they loved to work for chris. he was known not only for his courage, but for his smile. goofy, but contagious. for his sense of fun and that california cool. in the days since the attack, so many libyans including the ambassador from libya to the united states who is with us today, have expressed their sorrow and solidarity. one young woman, her head covered and her eyes haunted with sadness held up a handwritten sign that said, thugs and killers don't
represent benghazi nor islam. the president of the palestinian authority who worked closely with chris when he served in jerusalem, sent me a letter remembering his energy and integrity. and deploring and i quote, an act of ugly terror. many others from across the middle east and north africa have offered similar sentiments. this has been a difficult week for the state department and for our country. we've seen the heavy assault on our post in benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. we've seen rage and violence directed at american embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. it is hard for the american people to make sense of that
because it is senseless. and it is totally unacceptable. the people of egypt, libya, yemen, and tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts. and we will under the president's leadership keep taking steps to protect our personnel around the world. there will be more difficult days ahead, but it is important that we don't lose sight of the fundamental fact that america
must keep leading the world. we owe it to those four men to continue the long, hard work of diplomacy. i am enormously proud of the men and women of the state department. i'm proud of all those across our government, civilian and military alike who represent america abroad. they help make the united states the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity the ever known. if the last few days teach us anything, let it be this, that this work and the men and women who risk their lives to do it, are at the heart of what makes america great and good. so we will wipe away our tears,
stiffen our spines, and face the future undaunted. and we will do it together. protecting and helping one another. just like sean, tyrone, glen, and chris always did. may god bless them and grant their families peace and solace. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. and now, let me have the great honor of introducing someone who came to the state department earlier this week to grieve with us. he well understands and values the work that these men were
doing for our country. the president of the united states. >> scripture teaches us greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. glen doherty never shied from adventure. he believed that in his life he could make a difference by calling a fulfilled as a navy seal. he served with dings in iraq and worked in afghanistan. and there in benghazi as he tended to others, he laid down his life.
loyal as always, protecting his friends. today glen is home. tyrone woods devoted 20 years of his life to the seals. the consummate quiet professional. the salty -- he served in iraq and afghanistan and there in benghazi he was far from dorothy and tyrone junior, hunter and little kai. and he laid down his life as he would have for them protecting his friends. and today, tyrone is home. sean smith it seems went to serve first in the air force and then with you at the state department. he knew the perils of this calling from his time in
baghdad. there in benghazi far from home he surely thought of heather and samantha and nathan and he laid down his life in service to us all. today, sean is home. chris stephens was everything america could want in an ambassador as the whole country has come to see. how he first went to the region as a young man in the peace corp. how during the revolution he arrived in libya on that cargo ship. how he believed in libya and its people and how they loved him back. there in benghazi, he laid down his life for his friends. libyan and american. and for us all.
today chris is home. four americans, four patriots. they loved this country. and thoi chose to serve it, and served it well. they had a mission. and they believed in it. they knew the danger and they accepted it. they didn't simply embrace the american ideal, they lived it. they embodied it. the courage. the hope. and yes, the idealism. that fundamental american belief that we can leave this world a little better than before. that's who they were. that's who we are. if we want to truly honor their memory, it's who we must always be.
i know that this awful loss, terrible images of recent days, the pictures we're seeing again today have caused some to question this work. there is no doubt these are difficult days. in moments such as this, so much anger and violence, even the most hopeful among us must wonder. but amid all the images of this week, i also think of the libyans who took to the streets with homemade signs expressing their gratitude to an american who believed in what we could achieve together. i think of the man in benghazi with a message he wanted us to hear. chris stevens was a friend to all.
knowing that because of these patriots, because of you this country that we love will always shine as a light unto the world. greater love hath no man than this. the man lay down his life for his friends. the flag they served under now carries them home. and god bless the memory of these men who lay down their lives for us all. may god watch over your families and all who loved them. and may god bless these united states of america. >> before the ben decision, let's stand together for the playing of the national anthem